Hero Down: EPCSO Corrections Officer Joseph Gomez Killed By Drunk Driver
El Paso, TX – El Paso County Corrections Officer Joseph Gomez was killed on Sunday night after an alleged drunk driver slammed into his vehicle.
The fatal collision occurred at the intersection of Red Sails Drive and Pebble Hills Boulevard at approximately 8 p.m., KVIA reported.
Corrections Officer Gomez was driving northbound on Red Sails Drive in his 2018 Dodge Charger when 25-year-old Erick Angel Ortiz blew through a red light in his 2012 BMW and slammed into the side of his car, according to the El Paso Times.
Corrections Officer Gomez was rushed to a local hospital, where he later succumbed to his injuries, KVIA reported.
Ortiz was also transported to the hospital with serious injuries.
He has been charged with intoxicated manslaughter, and will be booked into jail on a $100,000 bond once he is released from the hospital, KVIA reported.
Corrections Officer Gomez joined the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office (EPCSO) in 2015, department spokesperson Chris Acosta told the El Paso Times.
"It’s been hard for the office, and especially for the partners in his shift because Mr. Gomez was a very, very happy person," Acosta told the paper. "[He was] always making people laugh."
Corrections Officer Gomez leaves behind his wife, Shelby, and his children, seven-year-old Little Joe, 12-year-old Mercedes, and 13-year-old Aaliyah, according to KVIA.
He was very involved with his children and their activities, and spent the last three years as a volunteer coach for his son’s football team, the Thunderbirds, KFOX reported.
“We won’t be able to replace him,” Southeast Thunderbirds director CR Villalva told KFOX. “His legacy will live on for all the people that he touched and all the kids that he was able to make an impact on their lives as well as the parents.”
A fundraising campaign established to help Corrections Officer Gomez’ family in the wake of their loss has raised $800 so far.
He will be laid to rest on Sept. 30, KFOX reported.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of El Paso County Corrections Officer Joseph Gomez, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.